Sunday, March 17, 2013

The War of the Worlds (1953)

An meteor hits the earth and noted scientist Clayton Forrester (Gene Barry) is called in to take a look. Soon he is teamed up with young hottie librarian Sylvia (Ann Robinson) and notice odd things about the impact. For instance, the creator should have been much larger. Also, when alien war machines come up, that was real odd, too ... Jeesh.

Well, the military is called in and we soon learn that our war machines, so effective against those nasty nazis, are useless against the Martians. As more Martian-bearing meteoroids land over the globe, it becomes a matter of time when the human race becomes extinct.

I saw this once in my youth and never again until last week. In the genre I would have expected it to be high up, but IMDB, the definitive movie ranking system, puts it 187th, behind such powerhouses like Dragon Ball Z and the animated Transformers movie. Such disrespect.

Anyhow, here are a few interesting factoids: Barry and Robinson also appeared together in the 05 version, which I've never seen. The ships from the book walked on three legs, and in this movie they were to walk on three electric beams, but the sparks they used for the special effect became a fire hazard.

At the climax Sylvia and Clayton are separated and each seek out their comfort. For Sylvia, it's the church to pray. For Clayton, it's Sylvia. Classic film, tops in the sub-genre of 50's rocket and saucer movies, and very well made. Weak ending and you can totally see the wires, but AMRU 4 anyhow. What did they have against Venus?
"Guns, tanks, bombs - they're like toys against them!"

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